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Nuclear Power Plant/AFP

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Czech energy firm scraps nuclear plant expansion

Nuclear Power Plant/AFP

Nuclear Power Plant/AFP

PRAGUE, April 10 – Czech energy giant CEZ announced on Thursday it was scrapping the planned construction of two new reactors at its Temelin nuclear plant, citing “turbulent” conditions in the European energy sector.

“CEZ has cancelled the bidding process for the construction of two new units at Temelin. This decision has been announced to all parties,” the firm said.

It said a “turbulent trend” in the European energy sector was to blame.

The contract was estimated to be worth between eight and 12 billion euros ($11 billion to $17 billion).

The winner of the contract was originally due to be announced last year, but CEZ pushed back the date by “at least a year” in July 2013 due to questions over profitability amid uncertainty in Europe’s energy industry.

The tender pitted the MIR-1200 consortium, which included Russia’s Atomstroyexport, against US industrial giant Westinghouse.

The Russian firm’s participation had divided Czech officials after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

The Czech ministers for defence and human rights said they were against CEZ awarding the contract to the Russian consortium, but the firm itself and the prime minister insisted that politics would play no part in the awarding of the tender.

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